To WWW or Not to WWW? – zvelo categorization
- Protocol of http or https and may include others
- First separator of ://
- Subdomain (dot)
- Domain (dot)
- TLD (Top-level Domain) name defined by ICANN (.com, .org, .net, etc.)
- Port that is listening for web requests
- Root path separator of /
- Path, the page, and any file extension used such as .html, .php, etc.
zvelo receives millions of URLs per hour to its dynamic cloud service. Each component is inspected in order to determine how best to handle and categorize each URL request. For most people who surf the web, http://www.acme.com and http://acme.com are both the same. Often times if someone forgets to add www in front of acme.com, a redirect of acme.com to www.acme.com will occur automatically. For example:
- If one types in cnn.com in Firefox, Chrome or IE, it will be rewritten (redirected) automatically to http://www.cnn.com.
- If one types in yahoo.com, it will be redirected automatically to https://www.yahoo.com.
- If www.twitter.com is typed, it will be redirected automatically to https://twitter.com.
These examples show how websites can behave differently even if what was entered in the browser by the end user is consistent. zvelo categorization processes take into consideration all internet standard combinations in order to provide accurate categorization results. At times, a www subdomain site may indeed be different than its non-www site. Why? Well, it is up to the owner of that domain and how they want to structure their website. The owner of the website may not have setup a redirect from http://acme.com to http://www.acme.com.
Today, and considering the plethora of mobile devices, many believe that the www is becoming obsolete. However, there are still various technical reasons to keep www and again it is dependent on the designer and/or the developer of the said website. SEO, traffic monitoring, DNS CNAME usage, cookie handling, large scale load-balancing, and authentication control are examples of why www makes sense. Sometimes it doesn’t, though. The World Wide Web is about 25-years-old and using www or not is still heavily debated.